That angel emoji upset a lot of fans.
That meant that the "Glee" family lost two stars when they were only in their 30s, but many fans did not appreciate comparisons between Salling and Cory Monteith.
Monteith died in 2013 at age 31, through a toxic combination of heroin and alcohol. It wasn't quite the same as Salling's situation. But the cast members, including Matthew Morrison as Will Schuester, knew them both as costars and friends.
Morrison posted a photo on Instagram, including angel emojis for both of his departed costars:
Fans had A LOT to say about the post -- especially the angel emojis, and seeming to equate the two stars. However, for every fan upset about Morrison's post, there was another fan defending him for honoring his costars in his own way.
Here's a selection of Instagram comments:
• I understand them mourning a friend but the angel emoji is so beyond ironic
• I am sorry for your personal loss Matthew. But Mark was no angel. He was someone who enjoyed child pornography and was facing sentencing for it. 50,000 images, including children as young as 3 years old. He avoided justice and has now transferred immense pain onto others, including you and his family. The loss must be devastating so I respect your need to mourn, but an angel emoji? Really?
• He must have known how he would be treated in prison for enjoying watching toddlers being sexually abused. The angel emoji is insulting. My sympathy is reserved for the children exploited for his and other paedophiles satisfaction.
• No, it's not a mistake. He did something horrible, but even people who do horrible things, are still people. Mark wasn't just a pedophile. To those who loved him, his friends, family and fans, he was so much more. He was kind, funny and good hearted at many times, and that is the person Matthew, his family and so many others are mourning. We are all human, we are more than just one label, even if that label is as bad as his.
• There's literally no comparison between these two. One struggled with substance abuse and was gone way too soon and the other was a vile person who downloaded and redistributed literal child porn. This photo is so damn tone deaf that it's sickening.
• All I'm saying is that Mathew obviously knew another side of him. It's probably an extremely sad and confusing time for him. It was for me. I knew my friend did terrible things but I was still grieving. People shouldn't attack someone for grieving.
• Whatever Mark did doesn't change the fact the Matthew and him were friends. Matthew lost a friend. This is what this post is about. You can judge and hate on Mark on you own profiles.
• This isn't about Mark's actions or sins or sickness. It is about his loved ones. I was a gLeek from the beginning & horrified at what he did. I was never able to watch so much as a rerun he was in again. None of that changes the sympathy I have for his friends, family & coworkers who loved him. Their love had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with his crimes.
• in the end though his friend and this character everyone loves was played by an actor to got off on watching 3 years old being raped and had 50,000 pics and 700 videos of kids being sexually abused.
Mark Salling's lawyer Michael J. Proctor shared a statement with Entertainment Weekly on January 30:
"I can confirm that Mark Salling passed away early this morning. Mark was a gentle and loving person, a person of great creativity, who was doing his best to atone for some serious mistakes and errors of judgment. He is survived by his mother and father, and his brother. The Salling family appreciates the support they have been receiving and asks for their privacy to be respected."
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